Analog Adventures: Blond

Frank Ocean



About the Artist

Frank Ocean is perhaps the worlds most enigmatic pop star. Ocean’s career began as a songwriter, but quickly gained attention for his personal output. His first mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra took the music world by storm, garnering attention from industry icons such as Beyonce. He signed a record deal and released his first studio album Channel Orange in 2012 and the music world anticipated his next release with baited breath. Everyone would have to wait another four years before hearing new music from Frank Ocean.

The Record Itself

Blond is a minimalist record in every sense of the word. The compositions are elegant, keeping only vital instruments. The full arrangements of Channel Orange are nowhere to be seen on this record. Instead you have tracks such as Solo which features Ocean alongside a church organ with the occasional whistle. The stripped down nature of the record is present in the album art. The cover is black and white, highlighting a few photographs, lyrics, and the track listing.

This album is an artistic statement of freedom, freedom to create a melancholy and personal record. The expectations of a sequel to Channel Orange are there, but Ocean decides to take this album in a radically different direction. There are moments on this record that are reminiscent of a memory you forgot. Ephemera in music is often seen as a cheap way to sell records, but ephemera in the context of Blond has the listener yearning for youthful summer nights.

The interior and back cover of the record.

Is It Worth It?

Blond originally existed as a streaming only album. Apple Music hosts the album to this day, but fans wanted a physical release. Frank Ocean held a 24 hour Black Friday sale on November 25th 2016 where this album was sold. Fans quickly raided the websites inventory, leading to a long delay for the actual release of the record. When the record finally started shipping, it was clear that people were scalping and prices shot up astronomically. The price at the time was $35 plus shipping and handling, and now prices range from $400-$1,000 depending on the condition or the seller. As an advocate for physical media, it pains me to tell somebody to wait on buying a record due to the price. If you can afford the steep cost, this is an absolute masterpiece to add to your collection.

Outstanding Tracks

  • Pink & White
  • Nights
  • White Ferrari


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Jose Diaz

Collector of analog media.

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